This is a bit more interesting that the ordinary Jesus on a slice of toast or the Blessed Virgin on a window screen, as Discovery News reports:
A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that is engraved with what they believe could be the world's first known reference to Christ.
If the word "Christ" refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.
The full engraving on the bowl reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted by the excavation team to mean either, "by Christ the magician" or, "the magician by Christ."
This doesn't mean it belonged to Him, by the way. It's not like He put His name on it so Peter wouldn't keep borrowing it to mix up his shaving soap. (In any event, it was found in the underwater ruins of ancient Alexandria.) It is interesting if it's an early non-Biblical reference from so far away. The dating seems to be an issue, though, as the engraving was "made on the thin-walled ceramic bowl after it was fired, since slip was removed during the process." The article doesn't explain whether the engraving itself can be dated independently of the artifact.
This whimsical creature comes from a Neolithic European culture called the Cucuteni-Trypillian and evidently went zoom-zoom just like a modern pull toy. It's part of an exhibition at the Vatican's Palazzo della Cancelleria. Article and slide show at Discovery.
Archaeologists have discovered a 19-metre
(62-foot) Buddha statue along with scores of other historical
relics in central Afghanistan near the ruins of giant statues
destroyed by the Islamist Taliban.
The team was searching for a giant sleeping Buddha believed
to have been seen by a Chinese pilgrim centuries ago when it
came upon the relics in the central province of Bamiyan an
official said on Monday.
"In total, 89 relics such as coins, ceramics and a 19
meters statue have been unearthed," Mohammad Zia Afshar
adviser in the information and culture ministry, told Reuters.
He said the idol, in sleeping posture, was badly damaged.
The other relics dated back to the Bacterian era and from
Islamic and Buddhist civilizations.
REMAINS of a long dead house mouse have been found in the wreck of a
Bronze Age royal ship. That makes it the earliest rodent stowaway ever
recorded, and proof of how house mice spread around the world.
. . .The shape of the molars suggests the mouse came from the northern
Levantine coast, as they are similar to those of modern house mice in
Syria, near Cyprus.
when generations of rodents live aboard ships, they evolve larger body
shapes. Yet this mouse was roughly the same shape and size as other
small, land-dwelling mice of the time, suggesting it boarded just
before the ship set sail.
The War of the Roses (1455–1487) was a nasty business all around. The Battle of Towton, fought on Palm Sunday of 1461, was said to have cost 28,000 lives. Forty-three individuals found in a mass grave at the battle site have been studied by the Towton Mass Grave Project. They reveal the incredible brutality of the fighting -- photos at the link:
Most of these individuals had sustained multiple perimortem (around the time of death) injuries from a variety of projectiles and hand-held weapons, many of which bear resemblance to those curated by the National Armouries Museum, Leeds (collaborators on the project), and dating to the late Medieval period. . . . Many of the individuals suffered multiple injuries that are far in excess of those necessary to cause disability and death. From the distribution of cuts, chops, incisions, and punctures, it appears that blows cluster in the craniofacial area, in some cases bisecting the face and cranial vault of some individuals and detaching bone in others. Series of cuts and incisions found in the vicinity of the nasal and aural areas appear to have been directed toward removal of the nose and ears. There are few infra-cranial (torso and limb) injuries, which may suggest that these areas were not targeted, that these individuals were wearing armour, or that they sustained their injuries while in a position that did not allow them to defend themselves. The pattern, distribution, and number of these insults argues for perimortem mutilation. Many were left in a state that would have made identification difficult, even more so as they had been stripped of identifiable weapons and clothing prior to interment (a normal practice in the Medieval period).
Via Cronaca. The illustration is from the Wikipedia entry for the Battle of Towton -- the white rose is York, the red Lancaster.